Senate of the Philippines

[WATCH] Estrada snaps at dismissed PDEA agent Morales for calling him ‘convicted’

Bonz Magsambol

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[WATCH] Estrada snaps at dismissed PDEA agent Morales for calling him ‘convicted’

JINGGOY. File photo of Senator Jinggoy Estrada during a hearing.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

The Senate hearing on the so-called PDEA leaks resumes

Look who’s talking.

This was what a former anti-drug agent said – or at least how he was heard – at a Senate hearing on Monday, May 13, when Senator Jinggoy Estrada cast doubt on his credibility in the ongoing probe on the so-called PDEA leaks.

The Senate hearing on the supposed Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) leaks heated up as Senator Estrada took offense at dismissed PDEA agent Jonathan Morales’ remark that the senator is a convicted criminal.

[WATCH] Estrada snaps at dismissed PDEA agent Morales for calling him ‘convicted’

The Senate committee on public order, chaired by Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, has already conducted three motu propio hearings on the PDEA leaks concerning the alleged involvement of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in illegal drugs, a claim that has yet to be substantiated. Still, Dela Rosa is convinced that the leaked documents were not fabricated.

Estrada questioned Morales’ credibility to testify given that he was facing a string of cases.

The senator raised doubts on the truthfulness of a video from Morales, which was played at the inquiry, showing him being ordered by First Lady Liza Marcos, through a certain James Kumar, to stop testifying before the Senate if he did not want to be killed.

“Mr. Chair how can we be sure if the video that is going to be presented before the committee is totally unedited. Knowing this person was a lot of a criminal records,” Estrada said, referring to Morales.

Dela Rosa said that they will ask the assistance of the government’s cybercrime unit to verify the authenticity of the video.

“Your honor, ay parang hindi naman po maganda ‘yung sinasabi ni Senator Jinggoy Estrada patungkol sa akin para namang ako talaga ang hinuhusgahan eh ako’y may kaso pa lang at hindi pa napapatunayan sa hukuman. Hindi kagaya po ang ating butihing senador eh na-convict na po ay ‘wag naman po ganun,” said Morales.

(Your honor, I don’t like what Senator Jinggoy Estrada is saying about me. He seems like judging me. I only have cases which are yet to be proven before the court. Unlike our good senator, who is already convicted.)

[WATCH] Estrada snaps at dismissed PDEA agent Morales for calling him ‘convicted’

Estrada snapped at Morales. “Alam mo Mr. Morales, huwag mo pakikialaman ‘yung kaso ko. Problema ko ‘yun. ‘Yung kaso mo ang ayusin mo, ha,” he said. (You know what Mr. Morales, don’t bother with my case. It’s my problem. Mind your own cases.)

Estrada was acquitted of plunder, but convicted of bribery in the pork barrel scam that was uncovered under the previous Aquino administration. He remains free as he appeals those convictions.

On the other hand, Morales was dismissed from PDEA for dishonesty and misconduct.

He is facing several legal proceedings due to estafa, false testimonies, and complaints for implicating innocent individuals. In 2023, he was jailed due to violation of Article 180 of the Revised Penal Code, Section 91 and 92 of the Republic Act 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. He is out on bail after paying P120,000.

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.